As well as loads of big gigs – covering everything from indie and punk to pop and R&B – we’ve got a special guest in this week’s tickets blog: everyone’s favourite posh, sexy, galaxy-threatening otter-a-like Benedict Cumberbatch. As we’ve mentioned, tickets for his run as Hamlet at the Barbican next year go on sale on Monday, so make sure you’re online early to beat the Cumberbitch rush. More details below, plus the rest of this week’s most exciting announcements.
A silky-voiced London singer who’s tapped straight into the UK bass scene, Ware has collaborated with some of the smartest cats out there including Sampha, Joker, SBTRKT and Julio Bashmore. Her smooth R&B debut, ‘Devotion’, was one of Time Out’s top ten albums of 2012, and the follow-up ‘Tough Love’ is sounding pretty special too. If you didn’t get tickets to her intimate church launch shows for the new album, then make sure to catch the singer at this big gig on her home turf in Brixton.
Superbly soulful R&B singer, producer and writer MNEK has had a hand in plenty of awesome projects (singing on club smashes including Gorgon City’s ‘Ready for Your Love’ and Duke Dumont’s ‘Need U (100%)’ and co-writing The Saturdays’ pop gem ‘All Fired Up’ and he’s only nineteen. Sickening, eh? Still, we’ll forgive him as he’s so damn good at it. Tonight is his second headline London show, where he’ll be playing tracks from his upcoming debut album.
One of the buzz bands of 2010 return to see if their bouncy mix of new wave and rock ’n’ roll can find its feet in 2014. Their new album is called ‘Encyclopedia’: it’s very, very long with the songs in alphabetical order. Possibly.
Young, angsty Maryland pop-punk group ATL arrive in London to play to their considerable British fanbase. They’ve had three Top 10 albums in America and one here, so this mega Wembley gig (to be recorded for an upcoming tour film) shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Melodic alt rock with a pronounced Scottish accent? No, it’s not Biffy Clyro: Twin Atlantic are just as handy with a roof-raising melody. Their new record is called ‘Great Divide’; hear bits of it tonight.
Trad blues-rock from this American virtuoso guitarist, who’s been a sideman for both Springsteen and Neil Young as well as conducting an extensive solo career.
We keep trying not to like Charli XCX. It’s not that she hasn’t got enough things wrong with her – the shameless ’90s revivalism, the super-heavy make-up, her drawling half-rap… And yet she keeps cracking out effortlessly great R&B tracks that make it difficult to dismiss her, and working with super-hip producers like Alex Metric and J£zus Million – not to mention featuring on tracks for the chart-smashing likes of Iggy Azalea and Icona Pop. Come down and try and unpick her enigma.
Though there were rumours that Lyndsey Turner’s ‘Hamlet’ – starring Benedict Cumberbatch – would be staged in an off-the-wall found space, it’s actually going to run at the Barbican next summer, running for 12 weeks between August and October 2015. And, err, that’s all we know for now, but it’s pretty exciting: Cumberbatch was magnificent in his last two stage roles, the NT’s ‘After the Dance’ and ‘Frankenstein’, and Turner is a director of such dazzling gifts that she could probably have made the last series of ‘Sherlock’ enjoyable. There’s a persistent rumour that Gary Oldman might play Claudius, but his name hasn’t been mentioned – more details will apparently be revealed soon.